Timeline of activities

February 2021

28 February
Message sent to all members stating that Auckland General Practice and Urgent Care under Level 3 can access N95 without fit testing. The rest of the country at alert level 2 will need to have had fit testing prior to accessing central supply of N95 masks

27 February
Message of encouragement following community cases in Auckland.

15 February
Message of encouragement following community cases in Auckland.

3 February 

The College hosted Dr Nikki Turner, College Fellow and Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre for a COVID-19 vaccine webinar. She was joined by President Dr Samantha Murton and Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty. View webinar recording (member login required).


January 2021

25 January 
A message of encouragement from the President was sent to all members following a community case in Northland.

22 January 
Medical director update sent to all members about the vaccine and new variants.


November 2020

13 November 
A message of encouragement was sent to members from the President the work associated with the November community outbreak in Auckland. 


October 2020

9 October 2020
Medical Director update sent to all members about new testing guidance.


September 2020

18 September
Medical Director update sent on 18 September (potential COVID vaccine and telehealth funding)

11 September 
Medical director update on the latest COVID-19 testing advice sent to all members.

5 September 
President update sent to all members acknowledging the passing of Dr Joe Williams.

3 September 
Medical director update (ACC, masks and nasopharyngeal vs oropharyngeal) sent to all members.


August 2020

30 August
President update to members acknowledging that an Auckland had tested positive for COVID-19.

24 August 
Sam Murton and Bryan Betty host a webinar featuring Ashley Bloomfield - over 500 members attended.

14 August 
Medical director update about the raise in Alert Levels sent to all members.

11 August 
President update reminding members about the general principles of Level 3.

30 August 
President update sent to all members informing them of a Tokoroa GP who tested positive for COVID-19.


June 2020

4 June 2020
Medical director update about lessons learnt and what Alert Level 1 means for general practice sent to all members.


May 2020

13 May
College produced resource on case presentations loaded to the COVID-19 microsite.

12 May

5 May 

1 May


April 2020

28 April
COVID-19 update included in ePulse

24 April

21 April
COVID-19 update included in ePulse.

16 April
Medical Director update sent to all members

14 April 

11 April
Message to all members reminding them to have processes in place over the long weekend to notify patients of test results.

9 April 

8 April

4 April 

2 April 2020

1 April 2020
Members surveyed about financial impacts of COVID-19


March 2020

31 March 
COVID-19 update included in ePulse.

30 March

  • The College distributed information to members regarding funding for practices during this time.
  • FAQs published on the College website.
27 March
Medical Director update to members about vaccine supply.

26 March

25 March

  • President update to members about Ministry of Health funding.
  • Message to GPEP registrars and medical educators to advise suspension of the programme.

24 March
Dr Samantha Murton and Dr Bryan Betty interviewed on TVNZ, RNZ, Stuff, NZ Herald coverage (and others) about the reduction of in-person consultations 

23 March

  • College issued a press release, ‘GPs open for business – but changing the way they see patients.
  • President update to members about alert levels three and four.
  • The College announcement was the second story on Newshub and got coverage in most mainstream media channels e.g. TVNZ, Stuff, RNZ, NZ Herald.

22 March 
College President and Medical Director hosted webinar about reducing in-person consultations.

21 March
College advised GPs to reduce their in-person consultations by 70 percent in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

18 March
President update to members about ACC and WINZ certificates

17 March 
Sent press release supporting the Governments $500 million budget for health. View press release.

16 March
Sent a press release supporting the an on mass gatherings. View press release 

15 March
Dr Samantha Murton shares a message from the Director General of Health regarding border controls, the case definition and GPs’ ability to order tests

13 March

  • College announces new date of postponed conference, yet to be confirm if it will be under the WONCA brand. View announcement.
  • Dr Samantha Murton updates members about College activities, including the introduction of a new covid19@rnzcgp.org.nz email address.

12 March
Sent message regarding airline staff to all members, and created covid19@rnzcgp.org.nz email address.

10 March
College President Dr Sam Murton hosts a third coronavirus webinar featuring MOH Chief Clinical Advisor Dr Juliet Rumball-Smith and Dr Richard Chen, Urgent Care Physician. View summary.

8 March 
Dr Bryan Betty speaks to TVNZ about the possibility of retired doctors returning to work to help with Coronavirus.

6 March 
Dr Bryan Betty speaks to TV3 about Coronavirus.

5 March
Dr Bryan Betty speaks to TV3, The Project, RNZ Afternoons about Coronavirus.

4 March
Dr Bryan Betty speaks to Waikato Times, NZ Doctor, Stuff, Newstalk ZB about Coronavirus.

3 March
The Board agreed to postpone the WONCA 2020 Asia Pacific Region conference the College is co-hosting. Dr Samantha Murton speaks to Mediaworks, Newstalk ZB, Stuff and NZ Doctor. Other outlets report the story too.

2 March
College Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty updates members on his work with the Ministry’s coronavirus Technical Advisory Group. A Primary Care Subgroup has been established.


February 2020

26 February

  • Facebook post reminding patients to call Healthline is published and shared more than 180 times.
  • Dr Samantha Murton speaks to RNZ about PPE and Coronavirus.
  • College contacts TVNZ who runs a piece to camera telling people to call Healthline or your GP first after a story the night before told people just to visit their GP.

25 February
College Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty updates members about the work being done by the Ministry’s coronavirus Technical Advisory Group.

18 February
College President Dr Sam Murton hosts a second coronavirus webinar featuring Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield and MOH Chief Clinical Advisor Dr Juliet Rumball-Smith. View summary.

4 February
ePulse update and more than 300 GPs join a corona virus webinar hosted by College President Dr Sam Murton and MOH Chief Clinical Advisor Dr Juliet Rumball-Smith. View summary.

Early February 
College Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty is appointed to the Ministry’s coronavirus Technical Advisory Group.